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May 27, 2020
Florida expands coronavirus testing criteria

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Florida expands coronavirus testing criteria

| 3/17/2020

Florida expands coronavirus testing criteria

After sticking with a strict set of rules, the Florida Department of Health has finally expanded the testing criteria for COVID-19, allowing physicians to order a test based on their clinical judgment, mirroring what the CDC has been recommending. According to new clinical guidance issued in an email to providers on Sunday, clinicians can choose to order a COVID-19 test even if their patient doesn’t fall within six categories. [Source: Orlando Sentinel]

See also:
» Florida Department of Health launches new COVID-19 dashboard

Senate confirms Rivkees as head doctor despite concerns about his experience

News about the coronavirus loomed large as Florida senators debated the confirmation of Scott Rivkees as the state’s surgeon general. Rivkees has been acting as surgeon general since Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed him last year, but lawmakers didn’t make it official until now. As Rivkee’s confirmation came up for consideration on the Senate floor, Democrats brought up concerns about his experience in the public health arena. [Source: Health News Florida]

Senate kills THC cap for medical marijuana; House concedes

The House last week approved a THC cap for medical marijuana. It only would have applied to minors. But the chronologically limited proposal, on what had been an unrelated health care bill, hit a Senate roadblock. And that was the end of this year’s quest to cap THC levels in cannabis, even as the Senate passed the bill 39-0. [Source: Florida Politics]

Florida Trend Exclusive
Tampa General Hospital's new organ donation equipment

Tampa General Hospital has started using new equipment that enables donor hearts, lungs and livers to be transported at body temperature rather than chilled and transported in coolers. This story also features expert opinions, business briefs and people in the news. [Source: Florida Trend]

National Guard Task Force-Medical heading for Broward

The Florida National Guard announced Sunday the activation of a task force to assist with the worsening coronavirus situation in Broward County. The guard will form Task Force - Medical, made up of all the guard's medical professionals to support the state health department's efforts in Broward, which has emerged as the worst-hit county in Florida. [Source: ]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Mayo Clinic changes visitor policy during COVID-19 pandemic
Mayo Clinic announced a policy change that limits the number of hospital visitors during the COVID-19 response. In Florida, no visitors will be allowed at Mayo Clinic Hospital, but Florida’s Healthcare Incident Command System will consider exceptions to this policy on a case-by-case basis.

› Florida set to require consent for pelvic exams
Doctors and medical students won’t be able to perform pelvic exams on unconscious patients without their informed consent under a bill the Florida Senate sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday. Senator Lauren Book filed the bill after learning that some university hospitals use patients under anesthesia as a teaching tool for medical students while undergoing other procedures, unbeknownst to the patient.

› Nonprofit FoundCare to offer drive-through coronavirus testing site in Palm Beach County
FoundCare, a nonprofit federally qualified health center, is setting up a drive-through testing site for COVID-19 in Palm Beach County, starting Monday, March 16 at 10 a.m. “We were paying attention around the country as to what people are doing. We said, 'We could do that,' considering that we have trained staff to actually perform the tests,” said Yolette Bonnet, CEO of FoundCare.

› Lee Health cancels fundraising events
The Lee Health hospital system has canceled some fundraising events to help limit the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus and is encouraging employees to conduct large meetings by phone. Canceled events include the Madisen’s Match – Pro Tennis Classic, a Sanibel/Captiva fundraiser and the Dinner on the Diamond, said Lee Health President and CEO Larry Antonucci.

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